The World's Suckiest Hotel (Part 2)
Let’s recap from part I, like the “previously on Dexter” series episodes:
Our hero (me) checks into the swanky 5 star hotel, the Ritz Carlton LA Live!, a monolith of a building reaching into the LA sky like a hustler on five doses of Viagra. Our hero (me) asked for a room on an upper floor, and was shown to his pad on the third floor by a mildly racist bellman. Now ensconced in said room, a five night stay begins.
The rest of the stay was typical five star, and I don’t mean the great parts of five star, I mean the sucky parts. But I thought this level of hotel existed simply to provide service to make your stay more comfortable? Wrong. This level of hotel exists solely to make money. To earn revenue in an overt, obvious, and obnoxious way.
Here’s a run down of my pet peeves with Marriott upper level properties, all of which were on display in not-so grand fashion at this hotel.
First, I need coffee like a fish needs water. Without coffee flowing through my gills, I immediately convulse, gasp, and die. Luckily, much like La Quinta, the Ritz Carlton thoughtfully provides a coffee maker. Unlike the La Quinta, extra coffee packs (over the allotted one) are charged to the room. And, you must wait for 30 minutes while someone wrangles you up the packets. Then another 30 as they return the Decaf for real coffee.
All this, by the way, can be avoided if you steal them off the maid’s cart — not that I recommend this tactic. There are cameras in those hallways. Just sayin’.
Second, when dinner rolls around at 5 pm, and you go down to the hotel restaurant, thinking to dine on some delicious hotel steak and a $15 glass (read: exactly 6 ounces) of wine, and the hostess looks at you, through perfectly curled lashes and asks, “Do you have a reservation, Sir?” Um, there isn’t a single person in the restaurant except that alcoholic slumped at the bar. Did I need a reservation? Yes, Sir. We get extremely busy in an hour. I’m afraid I can’t possibly accommodate you. We do have room service. Or you can sit at the bar.
Third, when you need to send a FedEx and the cost for the privilege of using the hotel’s business center, instead of hoofing the packages 8 blocks (six down, 2 over), is $1 per pound. Now, if you are sending an 8 oz envelope, no problem. But what about 100 lbs worth of photo printers?
Fourth, when spotty, slow, hotel internet is $15 per day. You pay it, gritting your teeth — but it drops out constantly, anyway.
Fifth, when the maid decides to clean your room at exactly 8 am.
(Tap. Tap. Tap. “HOUSEKEEEEEPING”. Do they all get lessons on how to do this in the most annoying, high pitched, squeal ever?) And if you say, “No, I’m sorry, can you come back a bit later?” she decides not to clean your room at all (or leave the required long black hair in your tub).
Sixth, when your “sheets” keep balling around you as you toss and turn at night (remember: fish, coffee, me) because the sheets aren’t fitted to the bed, they are all flat sheets tucked under the mattress. Result: if you move, they move with you. Soon, you can check for bedbugs quite easily on the bare mattress.
And, last, when, because the hotel is “green”, they have air conditioning that keeps the room at 72 degrees no matter what the temperature you set on the thermostat. You can poke the thing all night long, and no matter what you set, the room stays nice and warm. Perfect temperature to keep sleep just out of reach. And when the air does finally come on, a wash of air flows directly over you: in bed. As in, it hits you as you lie there, sweating. Now you’re cold, so climb under the two sheets with comforter in between, only to sweat again…. Does no one think to put the bed away from the flow of air? It’s a fairly big room, isn’t there another configuration? Do they test these things?
But all of those are typical hotel irritations, barely worthy of mentions (though, I do). Except this is five star, you expect more, right? Don’t.
The real reason this is the suckiest hotel ever will be revealed in the next and final installment of this series. So far, I’ve only revealed typical, mundane, even nit-picky reasons this hotel sucks. Much like the reviewers on Priceline, I’m bitching about tiny, little irritations. But these build, and the grand finale is next. Trust me: you can’t guess what happened.
(Got a hotel beef? Share them with me, please!)